Medicine and healthcare in Benin. How to get medical care for a foreigner



Medicine and healthcare in Benin. How to get medical care for a foreigner

The Republic of Benin is located in the western part of the African continent. The sub-Saharan country has a tropical climate and a population of about 12 million people. Benin's economy is heavily dependent on agriculture. Its cotton production accounts for 40% of Benin's GDP and 80% of its exports. Unfortunately, Benin is a poor country, with about a third of the population living below the international poverty line. Citizens of Benin also face many different problems related to health care in Benin.

What you need to do to come to the country and get health care

Medical facilities in Benin are limited, and not all medications are available. Travelers should carry a supply of prescription and preventive medications. Not all medications and prescription drugs available in Benin are approved by the USFDA. You should be prepared to pay for medical services, including consultations and tests, before receiving medical advice or treatment. Credit cards are not accepted.

Travelers and expatriates visiting Benin are advised to take out a comprehensive international health insurance policy before arriving in the country. Since the primary language of communication is French, it would be ideal to have a medical facility that can communicate in another language, such as English. In addition, securing a health insurance plan will provide peace of mind knowing that any medical expenses are covered up to the limits chosen.

Medical evacuation is considered helpful, especially when emigrants are far from home and unfamiliar with the health care system they have access to. Providing cover for medical evacuations will ensure that treatment is effectively managed during emergencies.

There are many insurance options available in Benin, so finding the best private health insurance policy can be a challenge. One of the best decisions travelers and expats can make is to consult. We advise using only trusted insurance companies. If you need expert help, contact the experts on our website, who will competently select a safe and appropriate insurance plan.

Peculiarities and difficulties of Benin's health care system

The health care system in Benin was primarily dependent on the public sector, which has a history of strict regulation and centralized decision-making. The country's 12 departments (states) are divided into 34 health zones. These health zones include one to four communes and are managed by health zone committees and management teams. Each zone consists of a departmental health clinic, a commune health clinic, and a hospital. The health zone office oversees all public and private healthcare facilities in the zone, including private and public hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

The private healthcare sector has expanded because of accelerated urbanization and poor access to or quality of public services. Private healthcare services include individual medical offices or clinics, midwife-led maternity hospitals, nurse-led medical offices, and other general and specialized healthcare facilities. The private healthcare sector is considered an important source for treating illnesses in children under the age of five, such as diarrhea and fever.

The private sector is an important part of Benin's health sector. The public sector is not expected to be able to meet the growing demand in urban and peri-urban areas. This could lead to the expansion of private health facilities run by professional healthcare providers in the country.

Vaccinations before traveling to Benin

Timely vaccinations are recommended to prevent the following:

typhoid fever;

yellow fever;




hepatitis A;


We recommend that you contact your local general practitioner or travel specialist for advice on the necessary vaccinations to be taken before traveling to the Republic of Benin.